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Don’t Worry, Be sad!

It may seem counterintuitive, but sadness may serve some purposes in improving your task performance and interpersonal relationships. After reading this article, you will gain some insights on:

  • the benefits of being sad,
  • why and how mood affects performance, and
  • when should you be happy, when should you be sad?

Continue reading “Don’t Worry, Be sad!”


How to boost your New Year’s Resolutions

The start of the New Year is traditionally seen as the perfect time to start over, which explains the custom of making New Year’s resolutions. However, we all know that even with the best of intentions, people usually struggle with maintaining their new year’s resolutions.

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The Untold Truth About the Stanford Prison Experiment

Imagine that at this exact moment, you get a knock on your door. It’s a pair of policemen – and before you know it, you’re accused of robbery with violence and raid and arrested. You’re taken to the closest police station; after getting logged in the system, you’re brought to the provincial prison. You’re stripped, patted down and uniformed in pale clothes, rubber sandals and a nylon cap. Heavy chains are attached to your ankles. You feel humiliated. You’ve become a prisoner stripped of identity, and, over time, you won’t just feel it physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

Continue reading “The Untold Truth About the Stanford Prison Experiment”

A Life Cut Short But Well Lived – A Review of “When Breath Becomes Air”

“I FLIPPED THROUGH THE CT scan images, the diagnosis obvious: the lungs were matted with innumerable tumors, the spine deformed, a full lobe of the liver obliterated. Cancer, widely disseminated. I was a neurosurgical resident entering my final year of training. Over the last six years, I’d examined scores of such scans, on the off chance that some procedure might benefit the patient. But this scan was different: it was my own.” – Excerpt, “When Breath Becomes Air”

Continue reading “A Life Cut Short But Well Lived – A Review of “When Breath Becomes Air””

Summer Internships in PALS #5: Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship – An Interview with Ziyun Poh

Ziyun worked at John Rothwell’s TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) lab in Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN) (33 Queen Square). She was on the Wellcome trust Biomedical Vacation Studentship, where she observed and carried out behavioural studies to explore motor pathways within the brain and spinal cord. She was able to extend her summer project into her third-year research project for her BSc Neuroscience course, allowing her to start collecting data as early as October last year.

Continue reading “Summer Internships in PALS #5: Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship – An Interview with Ziyun Poh”

Summer Internships in PALS #2: Mental Health Placement with Sri Lanka Volunteers (SLV) Global – An Interview with Paige Erkiert

SLV Global is a mental health organisation launched in 2010 by a group of recently graduated Psychology students who, equipped with passion and drive, were keen to put their degrees to good use. They travelled to Sri Lanka, an environment where resources for individuals struggling with mental illness were scarce, and liaised with a local youth worker to create their Mental Health Placements. Their placements are perfect for anyone stuck in the eternal rut of “no experience, no opportunity”, giving driven and enthusiastic students, with little or no previous hands-on experience, the chance to build their skills in an exciting and new environment.

Continue reading “Summer Internships in PALS #2: Mental Health Placement with Sri Lanka Volunteers (SLV) Global – An Interview with Paige Erkiert”

Summer Internships in PALS #1: Summer Internship at Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies – An Interview with Ryan Law and Jessica Pu

Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies hosts an annual summer internship, supervised by Dr. Susan Carey and Dr. Jesse Snedeker. Undergraduates, or students within 1 year of their graduation, who have interest in research of language and/or cognitive development, are suitable to apply. Interns are paired with a graduate-level researcher, based on the intern’s interests, and work on the mentor’s research project(s). They can gain an in-depth experience in designing, conducting, and/or analyzing a study.

Continue reading “Summer Internships in PALS #1: Summer Internship at Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies – An Interview with Ryan Law and Jessica Pu”

Stupidity: a Scientific Perspective

One of the most -and best-studied fields in Psychology is intelligence. Intelligence, according to popular jokes, is the best distributed human characteristic: everyone believes they have enough of it. However, it seems that those with a lower intellectual quotient, in fact, overestimate their intelligence, and vice versa (Kruger & Dunning, 1999). Today we will be discussing another trait, which is certainly much less glamourous, yet still important in our day-to-day lives: stupidity. Let us answer a key question: what are we referring to when we talk about stupidity? Continue reading “Stupidity: a Scientific Perspective”

Dealing with the Loss of a Pet: Grieving and Moving Forwards

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”- Roger Caras (1998)

As we grow older, many of us may experience the loss of a family pet. We form incredibly close bonds with our pet, which is something that not everyone may be able to understand. Some people may see a pet as ‘just an animal’. However, it has been shown that the intensity of feelings accompanying the death of a companion animal can be similar to those when losing a significant human being (Gerwolls & Labott, 1994). Continue reading “Dealing with the Loss of a Pet: Grieving and Moving Forwards”

I’m So Stressed!

We’re at UCL. We’ve all experienced stress before.

Yet, have you noticed that some of your friends get stressed all the time – even over trivial things? Or, maybe, are you the one who’s always stressed? Continue reading “I’m So Stressed!”

Ana is Not Just a Name, It’s a Condition

2000 to 2500 kilocalories per day – that is the recommended daily calorie intake for women and men. To a particular group of people, those numbers set off a triggering alarm in their minds.

Continue reading “Ana is Not Just a Name, It’s a Condition”

Ketamine – the Antidepressant of the Future?

Disclaimer: This article looks into the novel research of the clinical applications of ketamine in the treatment of depression. This article is in no way a promotion of recreational drug use, but rather an insight into the steps being taken to improve the psychopharmacology related to depression. It is important to note that the doses given during the experimental ketamine trials which will be discussed in this article are far below that of street doses, standing at a minute 0.5mg/kg.

It is often suggested that drugs can play an aiding role in the development of mental disorders. Heavy cannabis use, for example, has been found to have the potential of doubling the risk of schizophrenia diagnosis in individuals who start taking the drug below the age of 18 (Moore et al., 2007). These types of findings have allowed the development of a negative stigma around the use of any and all types of street drugs. The dopamine hypothesis supports the notion that neurotransmitter dysfunctions can cause mental instabilities, and can present themselves in various forms, including the showing of psychotic symptoms. Many street drugs tend to affect these neurotransmitters, and it would therefore be plausible to say that they can play a role in mental disorders such as depression. However, is this role always a negative one?

Continue reading “Ketamine – the Antidepressant of the Future?”

Love in the time of Autism: A Review of “Dina”

From The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time to The Big Bang Theory and Parenthood, autism has been a recurring topic in literature and television. Many authors and film directors have portrayed people with this disorder, although the accuracy of these depictions has long been criticised.

Continue reading “Love in the time of Autism: A Review of “Dina””

Diagnosis of Special Educational Needs: Yes or No?

Special educational needs often revolve around terms like dyslexia and autism. It has been a contentious topic for many years and a conclusion has still not been reached as to whether a diagnosis would be beneficial for people with learning difficulties. People who support diagnosing students with specific learning conditions believe that better educational help can then be provided. Having said this, some claim that this form of diagnosis would only hinder those students’ academic progress, considering the additional attention laid on them by their teachers and peers. This may perhaps exert an external pressure on them, which stops them from learning in the classroom naturally. With this in mind, to what extent should the diagnosis of special educational needs be supported?

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“For You, a Thousand Times Over”: A Review of “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

Recently, I finally finished reading the book ‘The Kite Runner’, which has been recommended by several friends. The novel, written by the famous Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, is set in war stricken Afghanistan between the late 1960s and 2000 and follows the lives of two boys, Amir and Hassan.

Continue reading ““For You, a Thousand Times Over”: A Review of “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini”

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